INFORMATION FOR PLAYWRIGHTS
Walking Shadow Reader’s Theatre is a gift for playwrights and theatre artists struggling though the effects of COVID, including our lack of connection and uncertainty of when we can be together again. This reading was a highlight of my year. I highly recommend submitting to this company! They took very good care of me and my play. They have a ton of passion and heart and truly love the new play process. The reading was well directed and the actors were not only all very good in their roles, their feedback after the reading was astute and very helpful for my next draft.
~ Brian David Walker, Deer Island, October 2020
INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING A SCRIPT?
Please note, the submission window for out 2022-2023 season is now CLOSED. Any scripts received will be considered for future seasons.
What type of plays are you looking for?
WSRT is looking for ensemble pieces that have a run time of 70-90 minutes, or roughly 50-80 pages. Additionally, all scripts need to be conducive to a virtual setting; for example, pieces reliant on physical action, slapstick comedy, or direct character interaction may not translate well to a virtual platform. We’re not particular about content, setting, character tropes, etc. All options are on the table.
Building natural dialogue, believable relationships, and storyline continuity are aspects of script and story development that our company members excel at assessing. We all love a good monologue or two, though overuse of monologues can be detrimental to a virtual reading.
The above items are merely guidelines, not firm rules. If your script is shorter or longer than suggested, or if a character absolutely must get a pie in the face, our Vetting Committee will take that into consideration during the review process.
Are there any content restrictions?
Theatre is no stranger to controversy. Part of the joy theatregoers derive from new works is being challenged to see or think differently. That being said, we do have standards in place when it comes to controversial subject matter: Hate speech, discrimination, and unnecessary violence for the sake of violence are flagged during the vetting process. We acknowledge that these aspects may wander in from time to time to make a point within a story, but overuse or blatant offensive intent are the fastest ways to have a script rejected. The decision to reject a play for offensive content is made at the discretion of our Vetting Committee.
Can I submit my published or previously produced play?
WSRT’s aim is to assist playwrights in developing new works. Scripts that have already been published (professionally or through a self-publishing service), produced, or are scheduled to be published/produced fall outside the scope of our objectives.
How do I submit a script?
To submit a script, email a PDF copy with the Subject line “Play Submission: Title of Play” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a brief synopsis and character breakdown in the body of the email, as well as your contact information. Our Literary Manager will reply to confirm we’ve received your script. If you would like to submit multiple scripts, please email each one individually following the above directions.
Our Vetting Committee reviews all scripts received. If selected for a reading, our Literary Manager will contact you to discuss arrangements for a live reading.
All readings are cast from our ensemble, the majority of which are repeat readers with known individual strengths that are taken into consideration when pairing actor to character.
All readings occur on the last Friday of the month* beginning at 8:00pm EST with a “Pre Show” video conference between the playwright, cast, and WSRT company members. The reading will begin livestreaming to YouTube at 8:15pm EST. Following the end of the stream, a 30-45 minute closed feedback session will occur between the playwright, cast, and company members, providing input regarding the strengths and growing opportunities within the script.
*In the event the last Friday of the month is a national holiday, readings will occur on the second to last Friday
My experience with WRST has been enormously helpful! The opportunity to have it read by people who care and know their stuff has given me a whole new lens on the play, and the feedback I received from the board was incredibly detailed and empathetic!
~ Erin Gruodis-Gimbel, Abraham and God Play Ping Pong, August 2020
I’ve revised my script since submitting it. Can I submit the new version?
After submitting a script, we ask that you do not submit successive versions. If your play is selected for a reading, our Literary Manager will contact you to arrange a reading and request the most recent version of your script.
Can I cast my own reading?
We prefer to keep casting “in house”, though special exceptions can be made if you have written a role specifically for a certain actor, or have an actor attached to a future production. Our Literary Manager will be the point of contact to discuss this matter.
What is the rehearsal process like? Can I sit in on rehearsals?
Our directors and cast members pull character development straight from the script. To provide an honest reading, without outside influence, we strive to leave personalized subtext and backstories in the wings. Our objective is always to provide a clean reading of your script without interjecting “us” into it.
Rehearsals are also where our cast members are familiarized with the technical aspects of livestreaming, including mic checks, lighting setup, and mic and camera cues for interacting on our virtual stage.
Due to the condensed nature of our production schedule, rehearsals are closed to ensure our cast and crew are able to focus entirely on bringing your script to life.
Collaborating with Walking Shadow Readers Theatre was a true highlight for me. Their high level of professionalism, excellent communication, caring and great desire to make wonderful art together made this an exemplary experience. I wish all theatre companies worked like WSRT. The actors and director they chose for my play brought new nuances and insight into the reading and I came away with very clear ideas for the next rewrite and what works. WSRT deserves all the financial and emotional support anyone can give – they are a blessing to playwrights. I’m so appreciative of their excellent reading of TOUCH THE MOON and would be thrilled to work with them again anytime.
Arianna Rose, Touch the Moon, April 2021
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